New York Jets: Analyzing Each Quarterback’s Chances of Starting Week 1
Who Will Be New York Jets' Starting Quarterback?
Sometimes professional sports teams mislead fans and the media. However, organizations have plans that are purposely kept secretive in order to maintain a strategy. One must hope that this is taking place with the New York Jets.
Recently, general manager John Idzik said that all five quarterbacks currently on the team’s roster will compete for the starting job. Keeping an open mind presents a stark contrast to the previous philosophy of simply handing this responsibility over to Mark Sanchez. There lies the only positive of such a quarterback battle.
After the earlier release of Tim Tebow, this interesting group includes a mix of experience and youth will soon fight to emerge. Soon-to-be Pro FootballHall of Fame inductee, legendary head coach Bill Parcells once said, “if you have two quarterbacks you have none”. I wonder what he would say in this situation.
Sanchez, as I have said, regressed dramatically over the last two years. Given his tendency to turn the ball over, most fans have turned on the former franchise quarterback. Greg McElroy has limited skills and faces questions regarding his potential. Remaining options represent opposite spectrums of this sport.
A certain individual should not even be in the discussion of possible starting quarterback. During his time at Tennessee Matt Simms threw for a pedestrian eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. Another prospect has much higher expectations.
Geno Smith out of West Virginia was New York's second-round pick and is now viewed as their future. David Garrard has led the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Playoffs , but has been out of football for two seasons.
This coming year means everything to head coach Rex Ryan as far as job security. There is added pressure on making sure the right quarterback is out there when the season starts. Rankings are provided in terms of which player is a most logical choice to win the job.
No disrespect is intended here, however, Simms should be considered quite a longshot in New York’s quarterback battle. He was cut during the preseason last year and resigned earlier this offseason. In college, Simms did nothing to inspire faith in his abilities. Despite his last name and solid build, I would not count on him being the answer for Ryan and the Jets.
Here is an interesting player. McElroy won a BCS National Championship at Alabama, and proved to be an efficient quarterback. He brings stability to the position while demonstrating poise in the pocket. Arm strength presents an issue though. In his one career start last year McElroy struggled to stretch the defense with a big play. He likely won’t get a serious opportunity to be number one on the depth chart.
For someone who has greatly underachieved the last two seasons, Sanchez has a lot of confidence. When asked about the challenge ahead, the former USC star said there is “no doubt” that he would be the Jets’ starter. Fans desperately want a change. If management is smart, they would move on from a player who had the second lowest passer rating in the NFL last year.
When the Jets first signed Garrard, I was skeptical. He has not played in two seasons, and deals with constant health problems. If he does manage to stay on the field there is a history of winning. Garrard does not turn the ball over much either. At 35 Garrard would likely serve as mentor and may even be a placeholder for this next signal caller. In the end he probably won't start despite his best efforts.
It is a difficult task to analyze the game of someone who has not taken a snap at the professional level. However, Smith possesses all of the ability to be successful. For a man that stands at 6’4, he is capable of doing damage with his feet. One of the knocks on Smith was the perception that his numbers were inflated by a terrific supporting cast that included electrifying receiver and first-round pick Tavon Austin.
There is great potential to prove the doubters wrong if he is given time by the Jets’ offensive line. Deciding whether to play a rookie quarterback right away is a difficult task, but Smith appears to be up to the task.